Our placement volunteer Betty Zhang wrote a blog to share her experience helping out at our Chinese New Year celebration at Kelvin Hall on 28 January 2023:

On January 28th, the Ricefield Arts and the Confucius Institute at the University of Glasgow hosted a celebration of the Chinese New Year at Kelvin Hall. As a volunteer with Ricefield Arts, I had a fantastic time.

Nearly 35 volunteers, including myself, arrived at Kelvin Hall at 11 am to begin setting up. We hung lanterns and decorated the space with red and yellow tablecloths. By 12pm, everything was ready to go.

Upon entering the reception, visitors were encouraged to write their wishes on cards and hang them from a “wishing tree”, a popular New Year tradition.

The first activity was a traditional Chinese dance workshop, which I helped organise and encouraged visitors to join. The dance steps were easy to follow, and with the help of workshop leader Annie, many visitors enjoyed the fun of the Chinese dance.

In the sports hall, there were plenty of interactive activities, including the shuttlecock game, a popular sport in China for over 1000 years. Participants of all ages happily took part in trying to keep the shuttlecock off the ground for as long as they could.

Many visitors also took this opportunity to try table tennis, and made their own Chinese New Year hanging decoration at the event.

Another activity was blowing ink painting, a special form of Chinese art. Participants simply added black ink to the paper and started blowing, using brighter ink and other materials to decorate. The results were fascinating.

Based on the pronunciation of English names, our volunteers taught visitors write their English names in Chinese on cards.

Overall, volunteering with Ricefield Arts was a wonderful experience. I reconnected with many friends and am already looking forward to the next event.

This event is a joint celebration between Ricefield Arts and Cultural Centre, Confucius Institute at the University of Glasgow, and Kelvin Hall.